The Government of Alberta is banning the use of spears in the 2018 hunting season in an attempt to reduce dangerous behaviour and protect big game animals from undue stress.
Under the update provincial hunting regulation, hunters will be banned from using spears and spear-throwing tools.
They will only be authorized to use conventional bows and arrows, crossbows and bolts, rifles and ammunition, muzzle-loading firearms, shotguns and shotgun ammunition.
In a Feb. 3 press release, the province indicatged the move will reduce reckless behaviour and ensure the dignity of wild game.
“Responsible hunting is part of Alberta’s cultural heritage, playing an important role in our province’s wildlife management and conservation efforts,” Shannon Phillips, minister of environment and parks, says.
"Albertans know that good hunting is safe hunting."
The new regulations also limit hunters from using shotgun pellets smaller than 0.24 inches to ensure quick and effective kills on big game.
Robert Gruszecki, president of the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors Association, says his organization fully supports the changes.
“As an education-based group that supports legal and ethical harvest of wild game in Alberta, it is part of our mission to educate hunters to comply with all provincial hunting regulations,” he adds.
According to the province, more than 3,900 Albertans, most of which were opposed to spear hunting, provided feeback toward the regulations amendment process.
The changes will not affect indigenous hunters using traditional methods.